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DW / Life is returning to normal in Mocímboa da Praia, while authorities continue to investigate the attacks on three police stations in Cabo Delgado.
The same streets that were deserted after armed clashes a week ago were this Thursday (12.10) filled with thousands of people on a peace march in the village of Mocímboa da Praia, northern Mozambique.
Life has returned to normal and shops, services and public institutions reopened while authorities continue to investigate the origin of the armed group of 30 or so who in the early hours of October 5 opened fire on police stations in the coastal village and surrounding area in the province of Cabo Delgado.
The firefight that lasted more than 24 hours resulted in 17 deaths – 14 attackers, two policemen and one civilian and an indeterminate number of injured, according to Police of the Republic of Mozambique (PRM).
The PRM announced on Tuesday (10.10) that it had arrested 52 people in relation to the attack, but a police source told the Lusa news agency in Mocímboa da Praia that some of them had been released after questioning.
Yesterday’s march meant that the main avenue of the village was transformed into a sea of people that spread all the way to the precincts of Escola Completa 30 de Junho, the scene of a final ceremony that brought together Catholic, Evangelical and Islamic leaders, all speaking in defence of peace.
Radical view of religion
The armed group that menaced the village a week ago wore robes and shouted expressions of Islamic character and included members of a Mocímboa da Praia group professing a radical vision of the religion.
An Islam “that does not exist”, district administrator Rodrigo Puruque said, a Muslim himself, like the majority of the population, who accuses “the bandits” of using religion as a cloak to betray “their brothers”.
The mosque that the attackers occupied in a neighbourhood of Mocímboa da Praia was empty this Thursday, and Puruque also wants to ban the wearing of the full burqa.
“No one is allowed to cover their faces,” he said, asking at that no-one renounce other identifying marks for fear of being mistaken for a village attacker. “I am not going to stop wearing a beard,” he said.
Despite the crowd that gathered in Mocímboa da Praia, some residents are still hiding in the bush, where they fled after abandoning their homes following the shootings, a local source told Lusa.Deutsche Welle